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View Full Version : When did Square Enix decide turn-based/ATB was outdated?



Squall Leonhart Loire
01-20-2017, 11:48 PM
Final Fantasy XIII received criticism(here in the west at least) mostly for its linearity and the simplistic game design. No wonder it was branded as "Final Hallway XIII." There were issues with the combat system as well but for the most part the game's negatives were derived from the corridor simulator aspect that corrodes the entire game.


So when did Square just decide turn-based/ATB was outdated? Why did they start moving towards action in the first place? There was nothing ever wrong with it.


We may see another turn-based/ATB AAA JRPG from Square in the future but it seems like they are making it very clear that they think their fanbase finds the combat outdated or just not relevant for an AAA title.

Fynn
01-20-2017, 11:53 PM
I don't think they did. XV was just planned as an ARPG from the start since it was Nomura's pet project, and considering Nomura's... oeuvre (KH), you can tell he's pretty into the sub genre. Hence why VII is going this way.

Mirage
01-21-2017, 12:00 AM
When did they say that? It's just been like one main game since they last used it.

Spuuky
01-21-2017, 05:32 AM
They haven't released a real turn-based game in the main series in many, many years. I can't imagine thinking of FFXII or XIII as turn-based in any meaningful sense at all. "ATB" is not turn-based. It's just a method of managing your speed in a real-time game. Or do you just mean "controlled with menus"?

Mirage
01-21-2017, 06:36 AM
Yes. your speed is controlled by ATB in FF13. It's not a carbon copy of previous ATB systems, but it's really not that different when you break it down. Main difference is that you can stack up multiple commands, rather than execute them only one at a time.

Elly
01-21-2017, 01:03 PM
if you read "An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII" (amongst many other articles), they mention there that they came to the conclusion that action was what they wanted as far back as FF IV... the technology just wasn't there to do what they wanted so they went with the closest approximation which was what came to be the ATB, ditching the Turn-based system of prior games... later as technology progressed they came closer to what they wanted with KH, FF XIII, & FF XV... really, find those articles with the battle designer/programmer, i forget his name at the moment, but he talks about it in several articles... they were planning to go action as far back as IV, now that's forward thinking...

Fox
01-21-2017, 10:21 PM
You know, let's be entirely honest here; the only two turn based systems FF has made that are worth a damn since FFIII are X and X-2. At which point, having finally perfected their craft, they stopped doing it xD

You know when I play FFXV I lament the loss of the old turn-based battle systems as much as anyone else, but when I actually go back and play them I am forced to admit that... for the most part they're just not very good. The ATB is a horrendous system in everything up until X-2. All it does is take the exact same turn based gameplay you can get anywhere else and introduce a period of time between those turns where LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL.

You have two modes with an ATB: "Wait", which is no different to a non-ATB system but with more waiting with absolutely nothing happening. Or "Active" which keeps the bars ticking as you input commands, meaning AI opponents actually get more turns than you because the CPU can input commands much faster than a human can select them from the menu. You will also get punished in some games for overly long animations, which is just ridiculous. Like when you have Gradual Petrify or Doom on you and your characters turn to stone halfway through a summon animation.

There is nothing wrong with a good turn based system. I don't believe in the concept of "out of date" mechanics, you just have bad mechanics and unpopular mechanics. And I still think Final Fantasy XVI will be better off if it moves back to something more like the X system. But I can no longer get nostalgic for the 'good old ATB'. FFVII, VIII and IX may be my favourite games of all time (and three of the best RPGs ever made) but each one of them is great despite some very serious flaws directly caused by their ATB combat systems.

And one more shoutout to X-2 for making sweeping changes to that ATB system to actually make it interesting and fairly well balanced. That design gave you a proper alternative to more standard turn-based systems that simply didn't exist up until IX.

Mirage
01-22-2017, 04:58 AM
Wait-ATB is not the same as non-ATB systems.

Fox
01-22-2017, 02:46 PM
Wait-ATB is not the same as non-ATB systems.

Not exactly, no. As I mentioned it adds a whole lot of extra waiting.

Squall Leonhart Loire
01-27-2017, 08:15 AM
if you read "An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII" (amongst many other articles), they mention there that they came to the conclusion that action was what they wanted as far back as FF IV... the technology just wasn't there to do what they wanted so they went with the closest approximation which was what came to be the ATB, ditching the Turn-based system of prior games... later as technology progressed they came closer to what they wanted with KH, FF XIII, & FF XV... really, find those articles with the battle designer/programmer, i forget his name at the moment, but he talks about it in several articles... they were planning to go action as far back as IV, now that's forward thinking...To be fair, I think they just wanted something action-packed, which a turn-based/ATB game can be.

Del Murder
01-27-2017, 06:23 PM
I don't think they did. XV was just planned as an ARPG from the start since it was Nomura's pet project, and considering Nomura's... oeuvre (KH), you can tell he's pretty into the sub genre. Hence why VII is going this way.
Yeah it's pretty much this. FFXV is really Versus which was always an ARPG. If Versus never existed then I bet FFXV would retain some ATB aspects. I don't think they ever decided to abandon ATB, it was just that they had this other ARPG game in development hell and they decided to rebrand it as FFXV.

Going forward, though, I would not be surprised if they abandoned it in the main franchise considering the success of FFXV and general RPG trends. I hope not, because ATB was a great battle system, especially when they perfected it in FFX-2.